A great lawn can enhance the appearance of your home and your entire landscape. Although you may practice regular maintenance on your lawn, such as mowing and watering, your grass may require specific treatments. Periodically treating your lawn to resolve unhealthy conditions and improve certain disorders can increase the health and overall appearance of your grass. Regular treatments can boost your lawn's ability to withstand temperature fluctuations, periods of rainy weather and drought conditions.
Dead grass, leaves and other vegetative debris can build up on the surface of your lawn to form a thick layer of thatch. About half an inch of thatch can improve the condition of the soil under your lawn, but more than this may contribute to an increase in lawn diseases. Excessive thatch may also limit the absorption of water, air and nutrients. Rent a core aerator to remove thatch accumulation. Run this machine over your lawn in May or September, when your lawn grass is actively growing.
Fertilize your lawn during the early part of June, and again in October. Do this soon after aerating your lawn. Select a nitrogen fertilizer that includes your type of lawn grass on its list of plants to treat. Apply a little less than 1 lb. of fertilizer for every 1,000 square feet of grass grown in sunny locations. Cut this amount in half when fertilizing grass in the shade.
A healthy lawn seldom requires chemical substances to control weeds. Pull out any weeds you notice growing in your lawn, before they become invasive to areas of nearby grass and other plants. Keep your lawn cut at the tallest length recommended for your variety of grass. If your lawn contains large amounts of weeds, remove them with a commercial herbicide. Apply an herbicide that contains mecoprop, 2-4-D and dicamba. Spread this over your lawn, according to the package instructions, late in September. Apply your herbicide on a calm, dry day, and avoid overspreading onto nearby plants and shrubs.
Although many types of insects live in your lawn, few pose any problems to your grass. Some bugs that may harm your grass include June beetle larva and chinch bugs. If you notice damaged areas of lawn that contain bugs or larva, treat these areas with an insecticide during the early part of summer. Check the label for precautions, and avoid overapplying your treatment or spreading it beyond the area of damage.